In the line of duty long ago -- but not forgotten

  • Updated: May 18, 2011 - 10:03 PM

A fallen St. Paul officer's death was recognized more than 100 years after a fatal call.

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More than 100 years after he died while responding to a police call, St. Paul officer Richard Cronin's name was added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C.

"As Officer Cronin's case shows, we never forget the men and women of the St. Paul Police Department who have worn this uniform before us -- those who have lost their lives in the line of duty," Chief Thomas Smith said during the department's 49th annual Memorial Day Service for fallen officers on Wednesday afternoon at Mears Park.

Cronin began working for the department in 1887. In 1905, he responded to a private residence on Reaney Avenue to arrest a man for disorderly conduct. A fight broke out, and Cronin, 52, was kicked in the abdomen. He later died.

At the time, an autopsy showed that he died of a heart attack from the exertion of the assault, and his death was ruled natural.

Four years ago, Ramsey County Medical Examiner Michael McGee reviewed the case at the urging of historians and St. Paul officer Layne Lodmell. McGee found that Cronin's death was directly related to the assault and would be ruled a homicide by today's standards.

His name was added to the national memorial on May 13.


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